Courtesy of Amanda Suclescy
His wife has recently fallen into a coma, and Michael Portunes is in a bind. Without sufficient funds to pay her medical bills, he is forced to pull a jewelry store heist to cover the costs.
This endeavor leaves Portunes in an even larger mess in the dark-comedy film, “Phantasmic Revival,” created and directed by Ohio State student, Nick Suclescy.
The film will premiere Friday at 5 p.m. at Studio 35 Cinema and Drafthouse, located at 3055 Indianola Ave.
“The idea for (the film) has been in my head for about a year now,” said Suclescy, a fourth-year in English, “and over the course of the year, it has slowly evolved into the film I have now.”
Suclescy said he’s inspired by filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino, all of whom have helped him discover his own filmmaking style.
“I’ve been writing and directing films since the age of 12,” Suclescy said. “With each new project, I’ve always tried to raise the bar so that I can get better and learn more as a filmmaker.”
Even with years of experience, Suclescy said there were challenges in creating the film. With a limited crew and budget, Suclescy found himself employing all his skills to make his dream a reality.
“Occasionally, we’d find ourselves in a situation where I would have to hop in as the boom operator, or an actor would have to work the clapboard,” Suclescy said.
Suclescy said the film cost more than $1,300 to make. He said he paid for most of it, though his parents and co-producer, Lynn Padetha, chipped in.
Though limited funding forced all those involved to make sacrifices, Suclescy said a tight budget did have its benefits.
“I do believe having less money meant more creativity on the set,” Suclescy said. “We couldn’t just throw money around.”
Those working on the other side of the camera had their own challenges, as well.
Brogan Smith, a fourth-year in strategic communication, is the actor who portrays Portunes, a husband who “slowly goes insane” over the course of the film, Smith said.
“Finding a ‘likeable crazy’ was difficult,” Smith said. “It is also important for the audience to like (Portunes).”
For Suclescy, one of the biggest surprises in the production process was the evolution of the film itself.
“There are some things in the final cut of the film that I would have never imagined being in there a few months ago,” Suclescy said, “but because we were all on the same page creatively, the film started to shape itself during the process.”
Suclescy created a trailer for the movie, which can be seen on the YouTube page for Strange Parade Films, which was founded by Suclescy and Smith.
Sarah Flessa, a first-year in English, found the film’s concept to be both original and intriguing.
“It seems like … there will be a lot of crazy stuff going on in the movie,” Flessa said. “I would go see it, especially if it was free.”
Suclescy said supporting aspiring filmmakers advances the future of cinema.
“I didn’t make this movie to turn a quick profit,” Suclescy said. “I made it because I want to entertain people, and give them a fun, memorable film-going experience.”
Admission to “Phantasmic Revival” is free. The film will also be featured on the Strange Parade Films YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/